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The Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble announces The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh Tour

 The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh: "Soul of a People" Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble

Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble – The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh
Xauen Music has confirmed the upcoming nationwide tour, “The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh,” featuring the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble (CCOE) with guest vocalists Youssef Kassab and Rozann Khoury. The tour is presented in conjunction with the release of the CCOE’s new CD, “The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh: Soul of a People.”

Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh is widely acknowledged as “the father of modern Arabic music;” his songs and style have enchanted the Arab world since the early 20th century. A spokesman for a developing Egyptian identity at a key transitional time in history–the quest for independence–Darweesh was well-known for his witty, original, and humorous personality and for his tireless work. He composed a repertoire of hundreds of songs spanning a wide range of genres during his seven-year career, cut short by his death at the age of thirty-one.

Led by Hicham Chami, the Chicago lassical Oriental Ensemble consists of professional musicians from several different countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa who perform classical music from the Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic traditions. Instrumentalists performing in the concert series are Kareem Roustom, ‘ud; Hanna Khoury, violin; Hicham Chami, qanun; Kinan Abou-Afach, cello; and Karim Nagi, riqq.

Xauen Music is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to preserving the heritage
of traditional Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic music. Xauen Music produces concerts, publishes scores and a magazine, records and distributes CDs, and hosts the annual Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music and Dance.

Concert schedule:

New York, NY
Friday, February 17
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
New York, NY 10025-5400

Boston, MA
Saturday, February 18
Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Washington, DC
Monday, February 20
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566

Ann Arbor, MI
Tuesday, February 21
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
911 North University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1308

Chicago, IL
Sunday, February 26
Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Seattle, WA
Tuesday, February 28
Town Hall Seattle
1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca Street)
Seattle, WA 98101

Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, March 2
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
14900 La Mirada Boulevard
LaMirada, CA 90638

Concert starting times are 8:00 p.m. except for the Kennedy Center, which is
6:00 p.m.

Additional information and tickets are available at xauen-music.com or by
calling 1-888-699-2836.

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Chalghi ElSaffar Ensemble in Chicago

Xauen Music presents the Chalghi ElSaffar Ensemble as part of
its Arabesque Chicago concert series on Wednesday, January 11 at 8:00 p.m. at
Raven Theatre’s East Stage.

The Chalghi ElSaffar Ensemble performs Iraqi Maqam, a classical music form which
has few surviving masters and is one of the most sophisticated and complex
traditional music forms of the Middle East. This vocal tradition contains
elements that reach deep into Iraq’s heritage and history. Vocalists sing in
classical Arabic as well as colloquial Iraqi dialect, and are typically
accompanied by a chalghi band, traditionally consisting of santoor, djoze and
percussion. Performed primarily in Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk and Basra, the Iraqi
Maqam draws upon diverse musical traditions; melodies of Arab, Persian, Turkish,
Kurdish and Turkoman origins are woven together into a cohesive repertoire of
elaborate, semi-improvised compositions. Members of the Chalghi ElSaffar Ensemble are Amir ElSaffar, Dena El Saffar, and
Tim Moore.

Amir ElSaffar, born in 1977, is an acclaimed classical and jazz trumpet player
who in recent years has delved into a completely different musical tradition,
that of his ancestral past, the Iraqi Maqam. This journey took him to Iraq and
other countries throughout the Middle East, where he encountered several masters
of the Iraqi Maqam and learned to sing the Maqam and play the santoor, a
hammered-dulcimer native to Iraq. He has performed Iraqi Maqam nationally and
internationally, including the cities of New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis,
Bloomington, IN, Montreal, Cairo, Beirut and London. Hamid Al-Saaidi, Amir’s
teacher, who is considered by many to be the best living Maqam singer, regards
Amir as one of the important carriers of this tradition in his generation, and
has said “Amir is a great addition to the Maqam…he is preserving the true
essence of this music.”

Dena ElSaffar, an Iraqi-American, was exposed to music in a cultural setting in
the suburbs of Chicago, where she grew up attending “Iraqi parties” with her
family. She began learning the violin at the age of six. At age 17, completely
engaged in classical music, she accompanied her father to Baghdad and became
enchanted by the music of Iraq and the Middle East. In 1993, while obtaining a
viola performance degree from Indiana University, she founded the group Salaam,
a Middle Eastern music ensemble which has performed throughout the country.
Dena, who plays the viola, violin, djoze and kemanche, is the older sister of
Amir and is married to Tim.

Tim Moore grew up in the Midwest, and began playing drums at the age of 12. He
studied drumming throughout high school and college, gaining experience as a
percussionist in a variety of genres including jazz, blues and rock. A degree in
Computer Science from IU brought him to the East and West Coast as a computer
programmer, but in 1993 he began to pursue a music career. His drumming took on
greater diversity, learning rhythms and instruments from around the world, and
eventually bringing his focus to Middle Eastern percussion, which he has played
with Salaam since 1997. Tim plays the dumbek, riqq, naqqarat and bendir, as well
as drum set and guitar.

Xauen Music (www.xauen-music.com) is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to
preserving the legacy of traditional Arab, Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic
music. Arabesque Chicago is a monthly showcase of Arabic music held in the
intimate performance space of the Raven Theatre’s East Stage.

Xauen Music also sponsors the Heartland Seminars on Arab Culture (www.heartlandseminar.com),
a week-long program of dance and music which will be held in Wisconsin from
March 17-23.

Tickets are $12 general admission / $8 students and seniors and may be ordered
from www.xauen-music.com.
Raven Theatre is at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago; a free parking lot is adjacent.

For information, please call Xauen Music at 847-830-8277 or 773-856-6454.

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Arabesque Chicago

Naser Musa
Naser Musa
Arabesque Chicago is a monthly showcase of Arabic music held in the intimate performance space of the Raven Theatre’s East Stage. The debut of Arabesque Chicago on Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. features vocalist and ‘ud player Naser Musa, accompanied by percussionist Souhail Kaspar.

Musa,
a Jordanian of Palestinian descent, is a composer and arranger as well as a musician. He has toured and recorded with major Arab musicians worldwide, and is an instructor at the Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music. Kaspar , a native of Lebanon, was trained at Nadi al-Fonun al-Arabia in Aleppo, Syria. He has performed with Fairuz, Farid al-Atrache, Sting, and other high-profile entertainers and has recorded with Ali Jihad Racy, Kadim al-Sahir, and the Kronos Quartet.

Musa and Kaspar collaborated on the CD Khaliji: Songs of Love and Passion from the Arabian Gulf.

The Raven Theatre, at Clark and Granville in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, produces critically-acclaimed dramatic works ranging from American classics to
contemporary plays.

Xauen Music of Chicago is dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Armenian, Turkish, and Sephardic music. Xauen Music produces concerts and tours; records and distributes CDs; publishes scores, magazines, and books; and conducts educational seminars.

Tickets ($12 general/$8 students and seniors) are available at: xauen-music.com. For information, call 847-830-8277.

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A Recital of Armenian & Middle-Eastern Music

Shavarsh Bardezbanian
Shavarsh Bardezbanian

 

Xauen Music & the DeKoven Center are proud to present a recital of Armenian & Middle-Eastern Music featuring Armenian musician Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian on ‘ud, clarinet, and duduk with Hicham Chami on qanun, Naser Musa on ‘ud, and Karim Nagi on hand drums.

The recital will be presented on Sunday, July 31st at 7:30 PM at the Great Hall
of the DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin.

Tickets are for sale at xauen-music.com, $20 for adults and $10 for students. Proceeds will benefit the participants of the Heartland Youth Seminar on Arabic Music. Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian was born into an Armenian family in Massachusetts.

Bardezbanian took up the ’ud as a child, and by his teens had mastered the Armenian dance hall repertoire. He studied with the great Turkish qanun master Esber Koprucu, to whom he was apprenticed from 1977 until Koprucu’s death, mastering the complex system of maqam, Turkish classical music.

A prolific composer, Bardezbanian performs regularly with the Middle Eastern Ensemble, a sextet based in Portland, Maine that he has directed for several years. The ensemble has released a CD, From Kef to Classical.

Hicham Chami is a Moroccan-born qanun performer based in Chicago. He has studied
qanun for nearly twenty years. Chami graduated from the National Conservatory of
Music and Dance in Rabat, Morocco, with a diploma in qanun performance and
another in Western music theory. Chami has been performing with several ensembles in the U.S. and can be heard on several CDs, ranging from spiritualmusic and traditional Egyptian repertoire to Turkish folk music. He is founderof the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble as well as Xauen Music, an organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic music.

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian who has lived in the Boston area for over 20
years. Nagi performs primarily Arabic, Turkish, and Andalusian hand percussion,
including the Egyptian tabla (goblet drum), riqq (tambourine) and segat (brass
castanets). Nagi leads the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble. He developed and
currently performs Turbo Tabla, a music and dance show that combines traditional
Arabic and Turkish music with modern electronica and techno. In 1998, Nagi began
producing the Arabesque Mondays series at Club Passim. He currently teaches at
the New England Conservatory of Music.
A Jordanian of Palestinian descent, singer/songwriter Naser Musa started playing
‘ud, a Middle Eastern lute, at an early age while living in Amman, Jordan. In
addition to the ‘ud, he also studied singing Arabic music. He moved to the
United States in 1982 and earned a degree in music from California Polytechnic
University, Pomona. Musa performs regularly at concerts and festivals around the
world. An ‘ud virtuoso and a valued studio musician, Musa has composed,
arranged, and recorded several projects in the Middle East and in the United
States.

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Heartland Youth Seminar on Arabic Music

The Heartland Youth Seminar on Arabic Music is a four-day residential program focusing on Arabic music and dance from the classical and folk traditions.

The seminar, designed for ages 8-15, will be held in Racine, Wisconsin from August 1-4. No previous musical training is required for participation.

The seminar will feature internationally-recognized performers and educators who
will offer lessons, workshops, and ensembles. Faculty members are: Alan Shavarsh
Bardezbanian of Maine on music theory, Karim Nagi Mohammed of Boston on percussion and folk dance, Naser Musa of Los Angeles, voice and singing, and Hicham Chami of Chicago, seminar director, on music appreciation. All instructors are involved in community and family-oriented activities. They have extensive background in education and workshop-conducting with kids and teenagers, in addition to being recording artists and performers.

The Heartland Seminar is sponsored by Xauen Music, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic music. Xauen Music promotes concerts, publishes a magazine, conducts educational workshops, and produces recordings.

The location is the DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin, an Episcopal conference
center on Lake Michigan. DeKoven is convenient to Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee
and O’Hare Airport in Chicago, yet offers a secluded setting conducive to the
seminar.

The Heartland Youth Seminar is the first event of its kind to be held in the
Midwest.

For additional information about the seminar, please call Xauen Music at
847-830-8277 or 312-927-2746, or visit heartlandseminar.com.

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Heartland Seminar Concert

A concert of classical Arabic music will be presented at the DeKoven Center, 600 21st St. in Racine, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature musicians participating in the Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music.

Solo and ensemble performances will highlight seminar faculty and
participants. The Heartland Seminar’s faculty musicians are: Hicham Chami of
Chicago on qanun, Hanna Khoury of Philadelphia on violin, Scott Marcus of Santa
Barbara on ney, Naser Musa of Los Angeles on vocals, Karim Nagi Mohammed of
Boston on percussion, and Kareem Roustom of Boston on ‘ud. The seminar instructors will be joined by guest percussionist Hamid Alwan of Milwaukee. Seminar participants are from the Midwestern states as well as California, Colorado, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

The Heartland Seminar is sponsored by Xauen Music, a Chicago-based organization
dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Sephardic, Turkish,
and Armenian music.

The concert and reception will be held in the Great Hall. Free-will donations
will benefit the DeKoven Center. For information, please contact Xauen Music at
847-830-8277 or 312-927-2746; or visit xauen-music.com/seminar.html.

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Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music

Chicago, Illinois, USA – Xauen Music will be sponsoring The Heartland Seminar on Arabic and Eastern Music on March 19-23, 2005, at DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin.

The Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music is a five-day residential program focusing on classical Arabic music. The instructors are: Hicham Chami of Chicago on qanun, Hanna Khoury of Philadelphia on violin, Scott Marcus of Santa Barbara on ney, Naser Musa of Los Angeles on vocals, Karim Nagi Mohammed of Boston on percussion, and Kareem Roustom of Boston on ‘ud.The Seminar will offer individualized instruction, lectures, ensembles, and workshops. Special sessions will be devoted to topics such as music marketing and promotion, composition, and education.

Xauen Music is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Sephardic, Turkish, and Armenian music. For additional information contact 847-830-8277. Or you can also visit the Web site xauen-music.com

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Moroccan Andalusian Music North American Tour

Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble
Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble
Chicago, USA – Xauen Music of Chicago has announced that it will be producing a nationwide Andalusian concert tour. Three major Middle Eastern music ensembles– the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble, led by Hicham Chami; Yoel Ben-Simhon’s Sultana Ensemble; and the Anda-El, East-West Orchestra–will merge for a U.S. tour, under the artistic direction of Dr. Avi Eilam-Amzallag. The 20-member combined orchestra will be joined by two celebrated and internationally-acclaimed vocalists: Munshid Abdelfattah Bennis and Soloist Lior El Malich.< The Classical Oriental Ensemble of Chicago consists of professional musicians from eight different countries (the U.S., Morocco, Egypt, India, Israel, Palestine, Syria, and France). The ensemble performs North African, Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Armenian music, and focuses on instrumental pieces. The Anda-El, East-West Orchestra is an unequaled phenomenon in the field of classical music in the world. The orchestra’s unique repertoire fuses the ancient heritage of authentic Andalusian music with contemporary instruments played by musicians trained in Western classical music. Also featured in the program is the acclaimed Sultana Ensemble with artistic director Yoel Ben-Simhon, which creates an innovative and rich sound that interweaves East and West.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Xauen Music, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the
heritage of classical Oriental music from the Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, and
Sephardic traditions through sponsoring musical performances, producing scores
and recordings, publishing a magazine, and organizing educational workshops and
intercultural exchange throughout the U.S.

Other cooperating organizations are the City of Chicago; Genesis at the Crossroads; Middle East Institute; Israel Office of Cultural Affairs; Sultana Music; Eretz-Siamak Cultural Center; and the Center for Jewish Culture & Creativity.

Concert venues are:

Sunday, August 29, 4:00 p.m.
“From the Middle-East to the Midwest”
Block 37 (State St. at Randolph St.) Chicago, IL

Monday, August 30, 8:00 p.m.
People’s Congregational United Church of Christ
4704 13th St. NW
Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, August 31, 8:00 p.m.
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
New York, NY

Thursday, September 2, 8:00 p.m.
Eretz-Siamak Cultural Center
6170 Wilbur Ave.
Tarzana, CA (L.A area)

For information on the Andalusian concert series, please contact the CCOE at
312-927-2746 or Xauen Music at 847-830-8277. Xauen’s toll-free number is
1-888-MY-XAUEN (1-888-699-2836).

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Souad Massi Band & Hicham Chami Trio

Souad Massi
Souad Massi
Chicago, Illinois, USA – Souad Massi Band and Hicham Chami Trio will be performing live on Friday, July 2, 2004. the performance will take place at 9:00 p.m. at  the Gateway Theatre, Copernicus Cultural Center, located on 5216 W. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.


Souad Massi
is a Paris-based Algerian singer-songwriter, appearing in Chicago as
part of her first U.S. tour. Opening for Souad Massi will be the Chicago-based
Hicham Chami Trio, featuring Moroccan musician Hicham Chami on qanun with flutist Kim
Sopata and Egyptian percussionist Karim Nagi Mohammed.The historic Gateway Theatre, designed by renowned architectural firm Rapp & Rapp, is part of the Copernicus Cultural Center in the Jefferson Park area of Chicago. The theatre is easily accessible by public transportation (CTA bus #81 and blue line).

Free parking is available in adjacent lots in addition to metered spaces on
Lawrence Ave. Ticket prices are: $15 students, $20 general, $30 balcony.
Info: +1 847-830-8277.

Buy Deb and Raoui.

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